Apollo 18

Boiling Point

In doing a quick bit of research for this article, I came across an article from none other than our own publisher, Neil Miller. Now, I didn’t bother to read the entire article, because I got what I needed and wouldn’t want to be swayed by facts or reason or anything, but his opening felt perfect for this topic, so I’m going to use it here: “Expectations are a funny thing. For a critic, they are the worst thing to have. Going into a film with any kind of expectations, good or bad, can color one’s ultimate perception of a film and sway a review one way or another.” I hope that now Neil feels good knowing that I think he has a really good point there, because in a minute, I’m going to use him as an example of what the fuck is wrong with this world. His point is relevant though, because expectations definitely influence how we view movies. If you go into a movie with super high expectations, you may feel let down. If you go in with low expectations, you can be pleasantly surprised. The best thing to do would be to go in with no expectations and just feel the movie slip inside you, deep and raw. But the modern world doesn’t allow this. Everyone is vying for the top spot when it comes to the final word on a film. To be noticed, we shout out the following words: amazing, funniest, greatest, best, of […]

read more...

This Week in DVD

Welcome to the last DVD column of 2011! There’s been quite a bit of chatter about how dismal of a year it was for film, but while there’s no doubt the box office haul is lower than the year before the same can’t be said for film quality. This week’s releases include the dirty fun of A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, the cool deaths (but little else) of Final Destination 5, two found footage films of varying quality (The Tunnel, Apollo 18) and two future cult classics (Kill List, The Skin I Live In) possibly worth an import for folks who don’t want to wait several more months for US releases. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Fish Story A comet heads toward Earth, but as the planet awaits destruction a few strangers sit in a record shop discussing how a mysterious song from decades ago just might save the world. From that starting point the film moves across space and time to tell a story about friendship, heroism, fate and more. Director Yoshihiro Nakamura (Golden Slumber, A Boy and His Samurai) has a true talent for tying multiple threads  up with real heart and character. The movie is actually a few years old, but it’s also the reason the term ‘blind buy’ was invented. Seriously. This is near perfect mix of whimsy, action, suspense and heart, and deserves to be seen by everyone. Check out Cole Abaius’ full review.

read more...

Culture Warrior

The month of September is typically regarded as one of the least exciting and least eventful in the calendar year. It’s something of an interval month, a strange in-between phase sandwiched in the middle of summer Hollywood blockbusters and the “quality” flicks and holiday programming of the fall. In strictly monetary terms, it’s the most underperforming month of the year, and has even been beaten by the desolate burial ground that is January in terms of event-style opening weekends. But this may ultimately be a good thing. In fact, if future Septembers continue to exhibit the same patterns as this month, the time of the year in which schools go back in session and you can no longer wear all-white may prove to be one of the most interesting and exciting months on the wide-release calendar.

read more...

The Reject Report

America had a fever…and the only cure…was more fever. Not cowbell this time. Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion hit audience wallets hard this weekend bringing the director his biggest opening outside of films starring Julia Roberts. Maybe there is something to that American darling. Contagion was pretty well on par with analysis, knocked The Help off of its three-week pedestal, and ended up taking the #1 spot with a feverish vengeance. Okay, enough quips about sickness. Well maybe one or two more. As far as disaster movies go, the $60m star-studded film was pretty middle of the road, fitting in as far as opening weekends go between Poseidon‘s $22.1m and Knowing‘s $24.6m. Of course, looking at that reported budget, you can tell the film will be just fine in the long run. Most of the disaster films that have much bigger openings are Summer blockbusters, most of them involving some sort of alien being blowing up national monuments. But Soderbergh proved that even with a whimper you can create an effective end-of-the-world scenario and still rake in some decent cash.

read more...

Culture Warrior

From the second half of the twentieth century onward, our view of NASA and its associated lore in movies have been inseparable. The astronaut, a uniquely American frontier hero whose myth and iconography made them the cowboy of the second half of the 20th century, has a position in our cultural memory that is inseparable from cinematic imagination. From pre-moon landing science fiction that dreamed of potential encounters with distant worlds through an organized space program (Planet of the Apes, 2001: A Space Odyssey) to reenactments of history celebrating the space program and the individuals involved (The Right Stuff, Apollo 13) to NASA/moon landing documentaries (For All Mankind, In the Shadow of the Moon) to later, more divergent science-fiction films that have emerged since the prominence of NASA has lessened (Armageddon and so on), NASA, space exploration, the moon landing, and its imagined associations have retained a prominent place in cinematic mythmaking prompted by continued fascination with the frontier of space and humanity’s place in it. Hell, we’ve wondered about the moon since the beginning of cinema. That our collective experience of space in both fiction (i.e., narrative cinema) and non-fiction has been via the moving image (i.e., watching the moon landing on TV) is perhaps what most thoroughly cements this porous association between NASA and its cinematic myth.

read more...

Dimension Films’ secretive Apollo 18, which arrives in theaters this weekend as something of an under-hyped mystery, is another of those mockumentaries that employs the found-footage formula introduced by The Blair Witch Project and incorporated to popular effect in the Paranormal Activity franchise. The notion of said footage revealing a secret, disastrous moon mission is a promising one, full of potential. Unfortunately, director Gonzalo López-Gallego bungles that intriguing concept in astonishing form, turning it into a muddled, mind-numbing mess.

read more...

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr readies for a Labor Day vacation at a lake house surrounded by bloodthirsty sharks. Once dinner is over for the little beasties, he goes undercover in 1960s-era East Berlin to help a bunch of emotionally brittle Mossad agents to kidnap a Nazi war criminal. Unfortunately, all they uncover is dozens of hours of video recordings from a lost NASA moon landing. So Kevin decides to edit all of this footage together into a feature film and hock it to the Weinsteins, convincing them that it really happened… or did it?

read more...

The crowded Labor Day weekend box office includes a mishmash of end-of-summer fare – some junk (Shark Night 3D), some attempts at awards bait (The Debt), even a long-delayed sex comedy (A Good Old Fashioned Orgy), but it also includes The Weinstein Company’s shoved around and mostly forgotten Apollo 18. The film’s marketing has hinged on making viewers believe that the film is “real” and crafted from “found footage,” but to pretty dubious results. I’m still not entirely convinced that Apollo 18 is an actual movie, much less one made up of real footage (and I say that as someone who knows people watching the movie as I type this). But despite all of TWC’s attempts to turn the film into an actually buzzed-about project, it looks like at least one faction of people involved with the production are hellbent on denying that the film is even remotely real – unfortunately, that faction is no less than NASA. Oops! NASA, however, is not just a bunch of cinematic killjoys. Last year alone, they collaborated on a vast number of space-themed entertainment, including almost 100 documentaries, 35 television shows, and 16 feature films. Apollo 18 was, at one point, just one of those collaborations, but now the space agency is chucking it out with the rest of the space trash, with Bert Ulrich, NASA’s liaison for multimedia, film and television collaborations, telling the LA Times, “Apollo 18 is not a documentary…The film is a work of fiction, and we always knew that. […]

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s hard to say, really. All we know for sure is that NASA is trying to cover it up. Chances are that you’ve seen tonight’s lead photo before — it’s one of many spy shots from the set of Man of Steel featuring Henry Cavill’s new look as Superman. But lets talk about this for a moment. What do we think about this? Is it the fanboy kryptonite as Hero Complex might suggest? I’m not convinced that anything is good or bad for the Superman franchise anymore. Perhaps staying dormant would have been a good idea. But then again, I’m the guy who liked Superman Returns. If Zack Snyder is going for different, he’s certainly found it.

read more...

The Reject Report

The 17 before it came, touched down, collected some sweet rocks, looked at some Transformers, and went home. But this 18th Reject Report, it’ll show you things you never even dreamed could be in existence. Like a 3-D movie about partying teens who get taken out by a pack of fresh-water sharks…and IT’S PG-13! Or how about a found footage thriller about a Moon landing that goes horribly awry? Or how about a film starring Helen Mirren? Actually that last one we could dream of. In fact, we do often. She kicks some ass in this movie, right? Sweet! All that and more can be found in this 18th Reject Report – actually it’s more like the 112th, 113th. I don’t know. I didn’t actually go back and count them – so strap in, throw on your 3-D glasses – or don’t. We don’t care either way – and try not to think of Helen Mirren. I know. It’s difficult.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? On most nights, it’s average. Tonight, it is slightly above average. We begin tonight with an image from a movie you’re not looking forward to, but only because you probably don’t know about it yet. I know about it and am very much looking forward to it. And based on the transitive property of fandom, that means you’ll want to see it, too. It’s a first image from No Way Out, a short film by Aaron Morgan that was announced as part of the Fantastic Fest 2011 Shorts Program. I was in an Aaron Morgan joint once, and I can tell you that he’s a true professional, especially when it comes to the casting couch. Though I doubt AJ Bowen had to go through the same “rigorous” “casting process.” He’s legit and I was a newcomer.

read more...

If you thought the first Apollo 18 trailer gave away too much about what the American astronauts found on their secret moon mission, then this trailer is for you. It shows far less of what is going on, all while playing up the imminent moon doom for the NASA’s best and brightest. There’s no more historical setup, no more “This Footage Has Not Been Altered” messages, just a few shots of two astronauts who land on the moon, then find trouble. It’s very Paranormal Activity in its desire to keep you in the dark. And it’s probably for the best, as the less we know about this oft-delayed project, the better. See for yourself after the jump.

read more...

After the strange claims from Bob Weinstein that the events of Apollo 18 were real, the movie got pushed back to the graveyard of January 2012. Speculation leans toward the movie being double plus bad because of the move, but in truth, we’ll never know why the decision was made. However, it doesn’t matter now, because according to Bloody Disgusting, the movie has been pushed up to the slightly more encouraging August 26th, 2011 release date it holds today. So that explains why the trailer played in front of Scream 4. They weren’t just playing the 10-month-ahead-of-time hype game.

read more...

Despite being totally real, not at all fake, absolutely true found footage of a moon mission that ended in tragedy (or at least contained a lot of it), apparently Apollo 18 just isn’t marketable enough for The Weinstein Company. The movie was supposed to hit theaters later this month, but it’s been warp whistled to January of next year. Apparently there won’t be a big Oscar push. In other news, they’ve also moved Piranha 3DD 2: The Sequel from mid-September to Thanksgiving week, which is perfect, because I know how much grandma wants to check that one out.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s tired, sleepy and acutely aware of the fact that it is Friday, Friday, Friday. It also hates Rebecca Black, except for the censored version. That made it laugh. A very self-aware, singularity style laugh. Chuckle on, meat suits, your day will come. Tonight’s lead story is an interest piece about two legends: that Tolkien guy, who wrote a movie about little people that’s about to become the world’s biggest goddamn movie production, and Maurice Sendak, who once dreamed of wild things. What if Sendak had illustrated The Hobbit? The above image is the answer. It also makes for a very interesting essay by Tom DiTerlizzi.

read more...

We pretty much all saw the found footage trailer for Apollo 18 that crash landed last week. It taught us to fear space ghosts that knock over our flags and invade our space suits. Now we might have reason to fear for Bob Weinstein’s sanity. According to his quick quote to EW, he really, really, really wants audiences to think this movie is actual found footage from a real-life secret moon mission that ended tragically. The money quote: “People intrinsically know there are secrets being held from us. Look at WikiLeaks: There are secrets that are really true to the world. It’s not bogus. We didn’t shoot anything,” Weinstein claims. “We found it. Found baby!” The question here is whether this sort of tactic will backfire and hurt the film.

read more...

The found footage horror craze is a bit exhausting, mostly because of its limitations. However, it’s the limitations of Apollo 18 that most excite. Most notably? A lack of room to move around in. The two astronauts are either in a small craft or walking around in the prison of their spacesuits. They won’t be able to go far, which means they won’t be able to avoid the danger. From the looks of the trailer, danger definitely comes to them. Check it out for yourself alongside the 5 things you should be afraid of in space:

read more...
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3